Easing Into Offseason...

As the ski season winds down and the snowmelt fills the creeks and rivers there is a refreshing smell in the air, a rejuvenation. After traveling for 8 months following the world cup circuit around the world my body needs to take a deep breath and relax. While the season was a whirlwind filled with some great results and my first Olympic games it took everything I had to push through. Sleeping in hotel rooms and waking up early makes it tough to rest and recover properly throughout the season. So, when I arrive home, rest for my body is the priority. 

Sleep is one of the best things an athlete can do for themselves, which is why in the spring when I get home, I try to get into a routine of a long quality night’s sleep. After a week or two of rest and recovery usually filled with unpacking gear and spring cleaning my house it is time to start training again. To get my body back to peak physical condition for the next ski season isn’t easy and there are a handful of different components that go into it throughout the summer months. Starting first by establishing a solid cardio and general fitness base and then moving into building strength and power to be ready to push hard on my skis. Most of the time the hardest part is getting up off the couch after a nice rest period to begin the training again. 

The first weeks of working out are not easy, it’s quite the contrary. The first few weeks can set the tone for the whole summers training though, that is why it is so important to fight through it until you develop a routine that feels normal. I like to tell myself, “The harder I push my body now, the easier training will be in a month, so keep going, do every repetition, run every mile.” After a couple weeks when the running gets easier, and your muscles aren’t as sore from lifting weights it becomes normal. When things become routine it is a good time to begin to push yourself again and take it to the next level. 

All athletes can follow a strength and conditioning plan from their coach or trainer, but what you, the athlete puts into is what you will get out of it. No one else can feel how hard you are pushing your body, they can assume, but only the athlete knows how hard they are working. It is important to be honest with yourself at the end of every training session and reflect on what you can change to better yourself. For myself sometimes that is knowing that I can add more weight to a lift the next session or that I can try and speed up my pace while running and drop some time off each mile.  

Lastly, as I get into the routine of working out every day it is important to find an activity that you enjoy and is possible to do in between the workouts so it doesn’t feel like that is all you are doing. I love to be outside and do all sorts of sports, but after each workout I am drained. So, my favorite activity is gardening- not strenuous, but relaxing. I have flower gardens around my house that I am always caring for as well as a large vegetable garden. It is nice to care for the flowers as well as the vegetables to make sure I have a large crop of fresh healthy vegetables that I can eat all summer. 

Happy spring recovery and summer training to all the aspiring ski racers out there!